Meningitis is a serious disease caused by inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. The condition begins with flu-like symptoms such as a headache, neck stiffness, and fever but can quickly escalate and become more serious. If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 24 hours, although this is not common (about 1 in 10). While meningitis can occur in individuals of any age, most typically it appears in young adults 16 to 23 years old. It’s essential, therefore, for everyone to know about and be able to recognize signs of meningitis. It’s also important to be aware of medical trials being carried out by DM Clinical Research of Tomball studying the effectiveness of meningitis booster shots. These medical trials are designed to help reduce the incident and severity of meningitis.
While meningitis begins with flu-like symptoms, one symptom to watch for is stiffness in the neck and back. This stiffness is caused by the inflammation of membranes around the spinal cord and brain and, if present, should be evaluated by a medical professional. As there are several varieties of meningitis, all diagnosis and treatment should be left to the physicians and technicians. Medical research into meningitis is ongoing, and current medical trials are underway to test the effectiveness of meningitis booster shots.
Fever and headaches may also accompany stiffness and are also symptoms of meningitis, although all three of these symptoms (stiffness, headache, and fever) may not be present in any given case. It is, therefore, a good practice that if you suspect you may have meningitis, you should seek the advice of medical professionals immediately. Below is a list of other symptoms commonly associated with meningitis:
- Confusion (memory loss, lack of focus)
- Sensitivity to Light (squinting, eye pain)
- Appetite Loss
If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention. Although meningitis is not common, because it is a serious condition, we should all be aware of the signs and symptoms in the event an infection does occur.
Until late 2014 there was only one type of meningitis vaccine which helped protect against four of the five groups of meningitis types. In late 2014 a second vaccine was introduced which helps protect against the fifth type. Many young people today have received only the first type vaccine but not the second. You should check with your doctor to ensure you and your family are fully vaccinated. Also, DM Clinical Research of Tomball is conducting medical trials studying the effectiveness of a meningitis booster shot. If you have not received all meningitis shots and believe you may be a candidate for this medical trial, call DM Clinical and speak to one of our professional staff. Our special meningitis direct line is 832-813-2970, or you can connect with our staff using the contact form on this website. If you qualify as a participant, you will receive the vaccine for free, up to $200 in compensation, updated immunization records (required by schools), and no cost doctor checkup and lab work.